Monday, May 12, 2008

Back in the Game

Chocolate Banana Bread

So, dear friends, how long has it been? Well, 10 weeks (or so) to go means that it has been almost eight months! Unbelievable that I'm almost a mom, and that I've been out of the kitchen - almost literally - for that long. I don't have much to complain about when it comes to this pregnancy, except for the ever-present nausea and sickness (that yes, I still have). So many times I've wanted to get in the kitchen and whip up something special, but putting that plan in action has not been easy. There have been a few days, however, when I've felt up to the task, and the day I made this bread was one of those days.

Chocolate Banana Bread

I've had a hard time eating many things these few months, and although that has helped me not gain too much weight it has also made me worry that Bruce Wayne (his nickname) hasn't been getting enough nutrition. Enter Flinstone vitamins and fruit! Bananas were key for awhile, they went down easy and are supposed to be good for nausea, too, but I could only eat so many. And when you have too many bananas there is only one thing to do - and you all know what that is - bake banana bread! This bread came together easy and was a huge hit at work. I took the entire loaf there because, well, Brad doesn't like it and I was trying not to eat it. It was gone in an hour - I kid you not.

Great Aunt Katie's Chopper

This wasn't just any banana bread, however. It had chocolate and pecans in it, too. Can you get any more decadent? I was able to use up some cocoa I had sitting around, and I was able to use my Great Aunt Katie's chopper (the cute pink one above) to chop the pecans. Quick breads are a lot like muffins when it comes to preparing and mixing, but they're even easier since they only mess up one pan. I think that's what helped me actually get something accomplished in the kitchen. Starting back slowly is the way to go. I guess that macaron recipe I've been saving will have to wait. These Flinstone feet are getting in the way. Ten more weeks. Say it with me, now, ten more weeks....

Nanners

Chocolate Banana Bread
Adapted from MyRecipes
Makes one loaf
Printer-friendly version

Ingredients
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1.5 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
3 ripe bananas, mashed with a fork
1/3 cup Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour an 8-cup loaf pan. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar on high speed until fluffy, about three minutes. Add eggs and beat well. Fold in mashed bananas. Set aside.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Using a wooden spoon, gradually add to wet ingredients until just combined. Stir in pecans. Pour batter into pan.
4. Bake 45 to 50 minutes, or unti cake tester inserted into center of loaf comes out clean. Cool in pan about 10 minutes before removing bread from pan to cool completely on rack.

This bread is my submission for Not Quite Nigella's Banana Bread Bake off!